Federal prosecutors have charged the former head of the United Auto Workers with embezzling more than $1 million as part of a wide-ranging investigation into illegal activity at the highest levels of the labor union.
The government alleges Gary Jones, who stepped down as president in November, conspired with fellow union leaders to steal more than $1 million in UAW assets over a nine-year period that began in 2010.
The officials used the funds for their own personal benefit to purchase stays at private vacation villas and items including high-end liquor and cigars, according to federal prosecutors in Detroit.
Jones relinquished his role and resigned his UAW membership after being implicated in a corruption scandal that could lead to broad-based racketeering charges against the union and a potential government takeover.
Jones now is the highest-ranking former union official to have been charged as part of a federal probe that has resulted in more than a dozen convictions of union or Detroit automaker leaders.